Varsity Volleyball Perseveres Through Strange Season

The FGR Varsity Volleyball Team travels to Tecumseh to take on Odessa Lakewood High School in the State Quarterfinals on Tuesday, January 12, at 5:00 pm. This will be each girl’s first time competing at this level, since the last time FGR won the Regional Championship was back in 2016. FGR’s head volleyball coach Mrs. Malia (Gabel ) Demmin ’13 shares her experience of guiding this team through such a challenging yet remarkable season.

Though the girls need to follow strict Covid precautions that could easily put a damper on team spirit, Coach Demmin reports that they have maintained their enthusiasm and responded well. Considering the ‘stop and go’ that has characterized this season when state mandates have suspended high school sports “it’s been so difficult to get momentum back.” In spite of this, Coach notes that her girls are “just happy for the chance to play, especially now that they have the chance to finish their season.”

As well as masking and social distancing as much as possible, the girls have also begun self-administering rapid Covid tests three times a week. According to Coach Demmin, the mandatory Covid testing “was a curveball thrown at us from the MDHHS and the MHSAA but it’s actually gone really well.” She explains that this testing is part of “a pilot testing program for the fall sports so that they can complete their tournaments. This was given to us by the MDHHS as the only way we could finish our season.” Thankfully, none of our players have tested positive, and even across thousands of players who have complied with the MHSAA’s pilot program, 99.4% of tests have been negative.

Coach Demmin says that this volleyball season, though difficult, has also been incredibly rewarding. In fact, she noted that this year’s team mentality has been especially optimistic, saying that the girls “are definitely appreciative of the time that we have in the gym, and the time that we do get to play.” Demmin is proud of her girls for persevering “against all odds.”

We wish the Lady Irish the best of luck! Quarterfinal play will be livestreamed beginning at 5:00 pm on Tuesday, January 12. Click here to watch.

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